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We want to feel we know newsreaders like a friend we trust

Anne Doyle, Colette Fitzpatrick, Sharon Ni Bheolain, Eileen Dunne. These are the women we have trusted over the years to deliver us the news.

Strong, smart and well able to move from a fast-moving auto-cue to a live interview. Attractive too - yes. But well informed people who didn't have to rely on their looks alone.

And so it comes as good news that UTV Ireland have chosen another broadcaster with solid credentials to be their news anchor.

Alison Comyn is the new face of the UTV newsroom. She's someone who I have never heard of, but others would know her from Sky and the BBC.

With 20 years of broadcasting journalism, a professional approach to everything she does and seemingly a great person to work with - Alison pipped the other news hounds to the post. And it seems deservedly so.


I love that women, especially in the US and here in Ireland, lead the way in news broadcasting these days. There is obviously some profound psychological reason as to why we want a woman to tell us some brutal news about bombs and plane crashes.

Perhaps it's a mother/sister/teacher/girlfriend feeling all rolled into one.

And there is definitely the attraction factor - you can't beat a smart, sassy woman looking us in the eye, with a clear, smooth, low voice, telling us that things are looking bleak.

We feel they are being straight up, we trust that they have all the answers and we hope that they will have better news the following day.

Its like when your mammy looks at you and says: "You're not going to like this, but the dog was knocked down. I know you're sad, but he went quickly, there was no pain. And we'll consider getting a puppy in a few weeks time."

Alison Comyn, like all news broadcasters, will need to have her own sign off line to bring a familiar feeling to each night.

Diane Sawyer, the 68-year-old ABC news anchor, who only retired some months ago, would sign off with, "I'll see you right back here again, tomorrow night".


The audience would feel that Diane would be sleeping over in the newsroom, never leaving, always there to talk to the viewers.

Anne Doyle would tell the public at the end of each bulletin to "take care". And everyone in Ireland felt Anne was minding them.

Its great that we'll have a female news broadcaster leading UTV's news room. She will have tough competition from the other channels, but by the sounds of things, she's at the very least a great match.